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Barry Collins Biography

(1941– ), And Was Jerusalem Builded Here, Beauty and the Beast, The Strongest Man in the World

soviet play world

British dramatist, born in Halifax, educated at Queen's College, Oxford; he has worked as a teacher and journalist. His first play, And Was Jerusalem Builded Here, which involved militant Luddites protesting against the mechanization of the weaving industry in the Yorkshire of 1812, was performed in 1972; subsequent work includes a children's play, Beauty and the Beast (1973); The Strongest Man in the World (1978), about a Soviet miner crippled and turned rebellious by the drugs that have made him an Olympic weightlifting champion; Toads (1979); and several television plays. His best-known, most challenging, and most moving drama, however, remains Judgement (1974), about cannibalism in the Second World War. It is a two-and-a-half-hour monologue narrated by a Russian officer who, trapped for sixty days without food or water in a cellar, agreed with his comrades to draw lots by way of deciding who should devour whom, and somehow managed to survive his ordeal with a decency, a dignity, and a sense of camaraderie that the Soviet authorities found impossible to accept.

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